Sunday, April 02, 2006

Payday Loans (13 of 31)

How do I write for these? The student sniped
and the shot’s ricocheting in the school
when I return to them their stories typed
to fit what we have taught are fiction’s rules.
I am well-trained and train my students well
to distinguish good from bad and right from wrong
and friend from foe as if it’s easy to tell
to which embattled camp each thing belongs.
I am well-trained to devastate dissent,
cut off supply lines, dig in or delay
the enemy, which is why I resent
the sniping of my competence that day.
How should I write for these when my desire,
Goodman, is to return fire for fire?

2 comments:

dreamer idiot said...

Hi Jeelong,

Just curious, are these sonnets part of larger whole/design? and are they poems in progress?

I think your idea behind the 12th is quite brilliant, a contrast between the superficiality and perhaps irrreality of what is shown on TV with the political turmoil unheard/unknown far far away, however I thought it might be a little more striking...The last line is a great clincher.

As for the 13th, is Goodman a literary reference to Hawthorne's Goodman Brown who meets the devil? in the forest?

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi dreamer idiot,
sorry for not replying sooner. The sonnets are a sequence called "Payday Loans". The first one (1 of 31) has the epitaph quoting Paul Goodman, which gives the idea for the sequence. Thanks very much for reading and leaving such a long comment.

Jee Leong